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New York -- Seventeen percent of consumers, or 41 million people, plan to take advantage of increased shopping hours on Thanksgiving hours to shop, according to the latest consumer holiday tracking survey by The International Council of Shopping Centers and Goldman Sachs.
Black Friday itself is still the most trafficked day of the weekend, with one-third (33%) of consumers, or 80.5 million people, planning to shop that day. The survey also found that over half (51%) of consumers plan to go out and shop at least one of the days of Thanksgiving weekend (Thursday to Sunday).
“The main reason cited by one-third of consumers planning to shop on Thanksgiving Day was that it would be an earlier opportunity to find bargains,” said Michael Niemira, ICSC VP research and chief economist. “The second, third and fourth reasons to shop, which were all equally shared, by those intending to go out on Thanksgiving Day, were  that it is something to do;  that it is an easier time of day to shop; and  that they expect crowds will be smaller than on Black Friday.”
Of those planning to shop on that Friday, 58% cited their chief reason was to buy bargain-priced holiday gifts, while 30% cited bargains for themselves or family, but not necessarily holiday gifts. Thirteen percent of consumers planning to shop on Black Friday were motivated by the energy of the crowds and planned to be window shoppers taking in the experience.
Previous year’s ICSC Black Friday intention surveys suggested that 34% of consumers planned to shop on Black Friday 2011.